Southeastern Theatre Conference

Connecting You to Opportunities in Theatre Nationwide

Ten-Minute Play Festival

Create and produce a play within 24 hours!

Sometimes the best way to take exciting risks, jump at new chances, and explore new ideas is to remove the time it takes to talk ourselves out of it, and the SETC Ten Minute Play Festival strives to do just that! By working within a strict guideline of one twenty-four hour period playwrights, actors, and directors band together to create brand new works and present them in front of an audience under a fun and intense time crunch. New play development is such an incredible process and ten-minute plays really allow us to get to the heart of an idea very quickly, especially with open-minded and kind collaborators.The process is like this: Directors and playwrights get paired up (six teams per year) and get a randomly selected genre, theme, and place. Actors present auditions and then they and the directors go to bed. The playwrights will stay up as long as it takes, sometimes all night, to create a brand new ten-minute play that honors all of the prompts before the next morning with the help of the resident dramaturg. Directors will join bright and early and have some time to ask their playwrights questions before the scripts are set in stone and printed. This is followed by a casting session where we make sure all actors who audition are teamed up with a role that is perfect for them, and then the playwrights finally get to sleep while their teams rehearse. We follow individual rehearsals with a group cue-to-cue, with the understanding that these are minimally produced. Everyone gets to take a break for dinner or quick naps, and then we meet to perform at the exact same time we met the night before to pair up and audition! The performance is followed by a talkback with a respondent with plenty of knowledge and expertise in new work development.

The process makes for a long day, but is always rewarding and exciting. It is always an extremely fun time and the teams leave every year having forged new bonds, professional connections, and genuine friendships. Which is in addition to leaving everyone’s brains and hearts changed in the way theatre does best! Please join us for our festival, we would love for you to be our newest collaborator!

2022 Ten-Minute Play Festival sponsored by:

Submit Application

Convention registration and SETC membership is required for all individuals participating in the Ten-Minute Play Festival.


Lauren Ellis

Hourly Outline

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

9:45 PM-10:00 PM: Zoom room opens
10:00-11:00 PM: Welcome and introductions, assign directing and playwriting teams, drawing of prompts (genre, location, theme)
11:00 PM: Auditions begin
11:30 PM – 12:00 AM: Dismiss actors,  discuss breakdowns of casting with playwright and director teams

Thursday, March 10, 2021

12:00 AM – 3:00 AM: Playwrights to work, directors to sleep!
3:00 AM-4:30 AM: Check-ins with individual playwriting teams/dramaturgy meetings
7:00 AM: final scripts completed
7:30 AM: Directors join for a readthrough, ask questions, changes are made
8:00 AM: Scripts are finalized and casting begins
9:00 AM: Actors arrive for their casting assignments, playwrights go to sleep!
9:00-5:00 PM: Rehearsals occur in individual breakout rooms
5:00-6:00 PM: Dinner break
6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Tech rehearsal; every show is allotted 10 minutes
7:00 PM-9:30 PM: Break/last minute rehearsals if needed
9:30 PM: Actor/director/playwright calls
9:45 PM: House opens in event space for audience
10:00 PM: Curtain up!
11:00 PM-11:05 PM: Quick break
11:05 PM-12:05 AM: Response session; open to audience; mandatory attendance from director and playwright teams

Deadline to apply: Feb. 25, 2022
Missed the deadline? Contact

In order to participate, you must register for convention as an individual and select 10-Minute Play Festival from the list of available activities.